This week my mind has been largely taken up with maths mastery. I say mostly but it has also been a week of induction sessions for my September new starters, the usual chaos of Early Years, two incidents of interrupted water fights in the pre-school bathroom, several toilet incidents, a lot of rain leading to lots of giddy children and juggling three of my own children at home. Back to the maths though.
I am currently part of a maths hub project looking at finding mathematics approaches that are accessible to all, with a particular focus on being beneficial to children with special educational needs and children who are gifted and talented.
As I am sure most of you will know it is sometimes difficult to differentiate lessons so that all children are able to both access and progress. In addition most schools and settings are now making (or made some time ago) a much needed move towards whole class teaching, as opposed to taking children out of class during input sessions for intervention and as a result and depriving them of the opportunity to access the same learning as the rest of the class. It is always a bit tricky to be able to plan something which ticks all of the boxes though. To be accessible but stretching in equal amounts for the middle ability learners, the gifted and talented, the children with additional needs and everyone in between.
Over the last year we have had a heavy focus in class on the benefits of conversation and sustained shared thinking instead of information heavy inputs and focused activities. This has fit in beautifully with our P4C sessions and we are now doing a lot of our Development Matters learning via P4C enquiries. More recently Thinking Moves has given me an even better framework for creating these sessions and maths is a prime example of how a simple conversational session can create a complex understanding of a concept and still be accessible to every learner at their own personal level of understanding.
As part of my input into the maths hub project I created a quick guide to some ways in which Thinking Moves A-Z can be used to explore mathematical thinking in the Early Years. You can get a copy of that here on the DialogueWorks website.
You will also be amazed to see quite how many Thinking Moves come out of just one enquiry. Here is a lesson plan which is a perfect example. This one asks the big question ... "What is 4?"
Miss Magical Mess is a pre-school teacher and P4C Level 2B facilitator. After a shaky start as a P4C facilitator (P4C with 3 year olds... are you kidding?) Miss Magical Mess created her own approach to P4C and enquiry model and is now a big fan.